Reds hope there is no place like home
Back in Brisbane after a win-less Super 14 season start in South Africa, the Queensland Reds are relishing a chance to take their frustrations out on the Cheetahs in their first home game of 2009.
Yet to taste victory despite pushing hard in the opening two rounds, Queensland are confident they can “click” at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday against a Cheetahs outfit yet to win in Australia.
Reds playmaker Quade Cooper said Queensland were full of confidence after having “a good look at ourselves” in their last clash, a 27-24 loss to the Stormers in Cape Town.
Queensland came back from 27-5 down early in the second half, only to fall short of a thrilling win.
“We had to take a good look at ourselves (against the Stormers) and say `are we going to come back from this?’,” Cooper said at Brisbane on Tuesday.
“We take a lot of confidence from the way we played in the second half so we are looking forward to this game.
“Getting so close (and not winning) does make it frustrating.
“It was such a good fightback from the boys – they showed a lot of heart.
“That’s what makes us very confident coming in against the Cheetahs.”
Reds mentor Phil Mooney was as happy as a coach could be after two opening defeats.
“We’ve got a young group who are working hard for each other and displaying a lot of energy and a lot of pride and I think that’s great,” Mooney said.
“We just have to fine-tune a couple of areas and when we do click, it’s going to be great.
“The (first round conquerors) Bulls and the Stormers will be highly ranked sides I think, so to perform that well against them was very pleasing.”
Mooney’s mood has also been buoyed by news on the injury front.
Wallabies duo Berrick Barnes (corked thigh) and Peter Hynes (knee) and fellow concern Sean Hardman (Achilles) have shown “good improvement”.
Former Wallaby Morgan Turinui will undergo scans this week on a lingering shoulder injury.
Cooper certainly looked forward to Barnes proving his fitness.
“He is such a talented player and very experienced for a young guy,” he said.
“Having him outside me takes a lot of heat off me. He’s my eyes and ears out there and lets me play my natural game.”© AAP 2013
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